Ted’s essays

personal Victory!

I determined to UP MY GAME in amateur radio knowledge this year. My primary methodology was to work towards passing the final hurdle in amateur radio to earn my Amateur Extra ticket. It demands a wide range of knowledge covering the spectrum of radio construction, operation and transmission. Two unanticipated things I learned from this effort were: 1) I really don’t want to know how radios are constructed… though much of that is required to pass the exam. 2) Simultaneously teaching a class of newcomers to pass their Technician level exams while studying to pass the third and final level was not helpful. Other lessons along the way. The ARRL study manuals are worth every penny and every hour […]

art

I passed my art final. That’s tongue-in-cheek. Nobody fails Bruce’s Introduction to Pastels class, gets graded or judged in any way. He encourages all of us to find ourselves AND lose ourselves in our art. As I mentioned in my March 3rd post painting with pastels, he conferred an Artistic License on each of us. I am not particularly good at colors, shades, contrasts, non-obective art, and, well, any of it. I do, however, enjoy spending time right-brain-ing it; moving out of the puritanical world I often immerse myself in. Moreover, I recognize that only by exercising the medium and my left brain will I improve any of those areas where I am weak. Following my final class, I vow […]

constitutional sheriff

Elizabeth Hodge interviewed me when I was running for Ada County sheriff. I just tripped over it today. The interview explains the concept as well as I have seen it done. It is still valid, and incredibly valuable to those USofA counties who have elected constitutional sheriffs. Coming out of nowhere with no significant support, I shocked the 20-year incumbent by garnering 40,943 votes. The incumbent was startled. He had not been in any contest that close, and sure as heck didn’t expect it from my campaign. Unfortunately, it was only 26% of the votes. I suspect $10,000 in campaign finances could have won it for us. I’m happy nobody did that to me. I like where I am. […]

comfortable solitude

I gave it no thought while living it, but realize today just how unique I was growing up. I spent A LOT of time alone without being “a loner”. I graduated high school standing 5’2, weighing 98 pounds without ever feeling small. I spent countless days wandering the adjacent woods. Occasionally my neighborhood friends would wander with me. Most often it was just me and the dog. I played individual sports, team sports, yet could spend hours alone shooting hoops or pounding tennis balls against the wall. I decided I wanted to pitch for our little league team. I built a wooden strike zone target and spent hours, days, weeks by myself throwing baseballs through each corner of it. Of […]

painting with pastels

It is official I am an artist You can plainly see I now have my Artistic License I came by it honestly Made it myself ———— I have long been wanting to do more drawing and painting than will fit in the little squares of my wall calendar with Sharpie pens. I never quite get around to it. Years ago I inherited some water color tools from my Step Dad. Even that did not get me started. So I signed up for the Pastel Painting class the Bitterroot College offered this January/February. THAT WORKED. I did a lot of gearing up for a type of painting I had not considered, but it turns out I really like the medium. […]

personal nostalgic moment

Reconnecting with an old friend brought my ‘5 minutes of fame’ back to mind. The old video had gone away – again. Having personally backed it up, I was able and inspired to watch it last night for the first time in many years. Ted The Younger got so much right, and now with a more dispassionate view realize I did even better than I remembered. If you removed party labels and were left with one of those two choices to be Idaho governor, I won. Pretty dang good for my first television appearance. Of course that guy with the green tie in 2006 is quite different from this guy who is 12 years older. I would not want to […]

happy birthday

I celebrated mostly by taking a break from my established PRIORITY ORDER for the infinite ToDo list. Today, if it wasn’t particularly fun or really bugging me, it was off for the day. Last autumn I had the evergreens shading our high-value, warming, southern exposure removed – or in three cases, turned into naked poles for future ham radio antennas. Several people have mentioned my “flag pole(s)” wondering what I am going to fly from it/them and when. That particular idea has been churning around in my subconscious for quite some time. What flag would I like to hoist at the entrance to our homestead? Ideally, it would be the flag I designed and produced representing the Thomas Jefferson […]

feeling lucky

Not in the way supercop Clint Eastwood used the phrase … No, I am truly appreciating the good fortune that put me here … and now. Not quite a year into The Great Cleanup And Rehabilitation of the farmstead and TODAY I got the Round Tuit designated to my workbench. Okay, it is a reloading bench with other potential uses. The trick was to lower my expectations. This one is “TEMPORARY”. That means it doesn’t have to be perfect, or even as close to that as my rudimentary woodworking skills usually gets. I do not compromise on the engineering. NOTHING I build breaks. Period. That would be gross failure. Nope, nope and more nope. But Pretty? Wuffo? Then I sit […]

tool tango

We are a couple months shy of five years since we started our move from our big subdivision home in Kuna, Idaho with my self-insulated, 5-car-garage shop to the Conner, Montana cabin. I spent the majority of that time estranged from my major tools. I had visitation rights, but the tools were not where I lived. I will never forget the gratitude I owe the great friend who housed them in a fully functional shop for me eight miles away. But, they were not where I lived. Today I am doing the happy dance around my tools. First things first, I fired up the mongo wood burner. Spotty insulation keeps my shop from getting real warm on cold days, but […]

reaching down deep

I was a tiny guy in high school; had more or less stopped growing in 5th grade. But Dad taught me to play tennis … well enough to be third on the tennis team out of 3,000 kids in my high school. Amusingly, the big, muscle-bound, power-lifter coach who drew the short straw and had to “coach” the tennis team took turns playing against all of us. I was the only one who beat him … because he expected his opponents to follow his coaching instructions while I was rebellious enough to put the ball where he didn’t expect it… over and over … he never could catch on. It wasn’t important to me, but tennis came easy enough and […]

my pleasure

Visitors to my website might assume I enjoy political activism, truth telling, railing against The Man and such. Not so much. I hate bullies. I do what I can to thwart them. But it is not for fun. Knowing who is doing what to destroy us and the Earth is the first step in fighting them off. I don’t know if we can win, but we most certainly cannot without a whole lot more people knowing what they are up to, and who they are. That is my chosen role. Again, not that I like it. More that it chose me, or I was chosen to play it. Now what I LIKE TO DO. I built this. I designed it. […]

interim shop tour

I am definitely not yet moved in to my shop. BUT I am able to get stuff done in it. I got far enough along to move to getting my studio, radio shack, music room and entertainment center setting up as a bigger priority. The state of the shop is: tour of interim shop from Ted Dunlap on Vimeo.